Tenth Desai Foundation ‘Diwali on the Hudson’ scheduled for November 2

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in India to visit Desai Foundation project site. Photo: videograb courtesy Desai Foundation

On November 2, 2023, The Desai Foundation will host its 10th annual ‘Diwali on the Hudson,’ in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen location.

The Diwali Party-cum- fundraiser, is planned to garner  support for projects and programs supported by the organization, a press release from the Foundation said.
To date, Desai Foundation programs have provided help to health,  livelihood and menstrual equity that it says has impacted the lives of more than 7 million women and children in rural India, organizers maintained.

This year, as in previous ones, organizers said, every dollar raised will go directly to Desai Foundation’s programs. These range from women’s vocational training and computer literacy programs to “Heroes for Humanity,” a COVID-relief and recovery initiative that was praised by former Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton.

Guests will enjoy music, festivities, and lots of color. This year’s event takes on special significance, with Diwali now officially a New York City public school holiday and US lawmakers having introduced a bill that, if passed, will mandate federal recognition of the Hindu “Festival of Lights,” the press release noted.

“We’re incredibly excited to bring the festival of lights to New York for the 10th year!”  Megha Desai, president of the Desai Foundation, is quoted saying. “Though initially conceived as an opportunity for first- and second-generation South Asians to connect to their roots, Diwali on the Hudson has become a tradition for not only generations of Hindu New Yorkers but also a growing number of non-Hindus, who return each year for an unforgettable night of music, food, mithai, fashion, and of course, dancing.”

Now that Diwali will be recognized as a holiday in the city’s public schools, organizers expect more guests and friends on the Hudson this November.

Last year, the sold-out event was attended by more than 300 New York celebrities, influencers, and business moguls, who celebrated an East-West fusion evening, the press release said.

Partners and sponsors of the Diwali bash include Desi Galli, Nandansons, Ranavat, Kendra Scott, Element Truffles, Rampur Whiskey, and 1947 Premium Lager, DJ Suhel, and more.

This year the Broadway star and activist Ariana Afsar will be performing. Other celebrities invited include chef Palak Patel, TV star Aparna Shewakramani, Actress Ami Sheth, Miss America Nina Davuluri, Singer Falu Shah, Actress Sway Bhatia, and many more.

Past events have featured performances by Raja Kumari, DJ Suhel, Karsh Kale, Kutti Gang, Zarna Garg, Falu, Resistance Revival Chorus, Rhea Raj and Payal Kadakia.



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